The music was hot, the Champagne cold and the solidarity was just right at last night's 15th anniversary celebration of DC Jobs With Justice. Labor, community and religious activists crowded into All Souls Church to renew their commitment to the grassroots coalition that's been on the cutting edge of dozens of issues, from the living wage to Inclusionary Zoning, the Wage Theft Prevention Act, paid sick leave and much more. The annual "I'll Be There" awards recognized the leadership and dedication of Metro Washington Council President -- and DC JWJ co-founder Jos Williams, National Reentry Network for Returning Citizens Chairman Courtney Stewart, American Friends Service Committee's DC Peace and Economic Justice Program Director Jean-Louis Peta Ikambana and Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Kendrick Curry. Williams -- who was lovingly "roasted" by a committee that included DC Council Chair Phil Mendelson, Council Member Vincent Orange, Unite Here 25's John Boardman, and former and current Metro Council staff as well as founding DC JWJ staffer Mackenzie Baris -- credited Unite Here Local 7's Roxie Herbekian with urging him to support the creation of a local JWJ chapter. DC JWJ's successes are "really thanks to everyone in this room and the question now is what tomorrow brings," said Williams. "Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work!"
- photo by Nancy Shia